NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The Castleton women's soccer team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 6-1 victory over MCLA Wednesday night at the Trailblazers' Shewcraft Field.
With the win, Castleton improved to 1-2-1 overall. MCLA fell to 0-3 following the loss.
The Spartans were on the board just 4:54 into the first half, as Bronwen Hopwood forced a turnover deep in the MCLA defensive zone and quickly released a low shot past a diving goalkeeper to give Castleton an early 1-0 advantage.
Makenzi Bellando doubled the Spartan lead just over 10 minutes later. After Rachel Keefer fired a shot just wide, an errant goal kick allowed the Spartans to keep possession in the offensive zone. Bellando took control to the right of the box and laced a high shot that snuck under the cross bar to extend the Castleton lead to 2-0 at the 15:12 mark of the opening frame.
After MCLA cut the deficit in half with a goal in the 32nd minute, Aubra Linn finished a cross from Megan O'Shea in the 41st minute to give the Spartans a 3-1 advantage at the half.
Castleton went back on the attack early in the second half, as Bellando netted her second goal of the match in the 48th minute off an assist from Kate Steller. Less than 10 minutes later, Keefer extended the Spartan lead to 5-1 with a low shot that found the back of the net from inside the box. Hopwood kept the ball in play just inside the Trailblazers' goal line, before finding Keefer through traffic in front for the one-timer goal in the 57th minute.
Dallas Brodhead snuck a goal inside the left post in the 79th minute, providing one final blow as the Spartans cruised to the 6-1 victory.
Five different Spartans tallied a goal in the match, led by two from Bellando. Kiley Baran picked up the win in her first career start in goal with three saves in 90 minutes. The Spartans issued a season-high 35 shots, including 19 on goal in the victory.
Castleton will return to the pitch Saturday afternoon to open North Atlantic Conference action at New England College at 5 p.m.
Photo Credit - Ken Sanders.